Afghan refugees pictured in quarantine hotel rooms as minister admits there's not enough room to house all 15,000

AFGHAN refugees who fled the Taliban have today been seen looking out of their hotel windows, as their quarantine comes to an end.

The refugees were seen peering out from the windows of their rooms at the Raddison Park Inn hotel in Manchester city centre.

It is where some of the 15,000 refugees rescued by UK troops from the Taliban have been staying in quarantine since being evacuated from Afghanistan.

It comes after the Home Office's Victoria Atkins said councils are "struggling" to find places for refugees and they might have to be put up in holiday parks.

The Minister has admitted Britain doesn't have enough homes available for the brave Afghan evacuees.

Those who arrived in the UK on mercy flights are in hotel quarantine, because the country is on the Covid travel red-list.

But many are set to leave their self-isolation within days and ministers are scrambling to find places for them to go.

Pontins has offered to put up hundreds of new arrivals in need of a place to stay, according to Government sources.

Ms Atkins conceded that so far only a third of local councils have made "firm offers" to rehouse people so far.

'Housing pressure'

She said: "This is a very, very difficult challenge and we're very, very aware of the pressures on the housing market and housing lists already.

"We do acknowledge the concerns people have. We have to face facts – we have 10,000 people in quarantine hotels today.

"I've got to get them out of quarantine over the coming days into probably bridging accommodation.

"I've got to be frank – we haven't got the housing stock to put them straight into homes. We've got to do this in a way that's fair to the British people."

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Ms Atkins said officials are in emergency talks with councils over "what they are willing to offer, what they can offer".

And she insisted that she's "confident" more local authorities will come forward within days to take in Afghans.

She added: "This policy will succeed if we welcome and integrate people into our societies and we get them settled into accommodation, help their children get into schools, get them registered at GPs and so on, and then they can begin to pay back into our society."

The minister said some have already expressed interest in joining the Army and the NHS.

Holiday park plan

Her remarks come after it emerged Whitehall is looking at temporarily putting some refugees up in disused holiday parks.

Pontins has offered to put up hundreds of new arrivals in need of a place to stay, according to Government sources.

Ministers are still "looking into" the offer with two specific sites thought to be under consideration.

Ms Atkins has been put in charge of Operation Warm Welcome which will see more than 8,000 Afghans given permanent leave to remain in Britain.

She said that those people brought over in the evacuation "have done right by us and we want to do right by them".

They helped British troops and diplomats on the ground and were airlifted out along with their families to save them from Taliban reprisals.

Thousands more are also eligible for asylum but it hasn't yet been decided whether they'll get permanent visas or standard five-year ones.

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